Sublime with Rome & Offspring at Festival Pier

After a week of cooler Fall-like temperatures, the weather returned to the 80’s on Thursday, September 14 for the ‘Sublime with Rome’ & ‘The Offspring’ show at Festival Pier on Penn’s Landing. The festive crowd was comprised of fans of all ages including many parents who brought their kids to catch two of their favorite 90’s bands.

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The opening band was ‘The Unlikely Candidates’, an indie rock band from Fort Worth, TX. Lead singer, Kyle Morris, was non-stop, covering all ends of the stage and the top of the bass speakers in the pit.  He ended the show in the crowd.

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The Offspring hit the stage next, opening with ‘You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid’, and had the crowd singing along with hit-after-hit including ‘Come Out and Play (Keep ‘Em Separated)’, ‘Want You Bad’, ‘Why Don’t You Get a Job’, ‘Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)’, and an emotional, slowed-down version of ‘Gone Away’, as a tribute to all that recently lost someone, including so many in the music world.

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Lead guitarist, Noodles, loved the view from Festival Pier of the beautiful Ben Franklin Bridge, and the “beautiful crowd”. He even gave a shout-out to Ben Franklin for inventing eyeglasses as thick-lensed specs are Noodles trademark feature. They ended in true rock fashion with their mega-hit, ‘Self Esteem’, to the delight of fans at Festival Pier.

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Sublime with Rome took over the party, leading off with ‘Date Rape’, ‘Smoke 2 Joints’, and ‘Wrong Way’. Rome is the perfect sounding frontman for Sublime, who reformed in 2009 after the death of original lead singer Bradley Nowell in 1996 (heroin overdose). The new version of the band picks up right where the original one left off and if you close your eyes, sometimes it’s hard to tell that there was any change at all.

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Sublime with Rome’s twelve-song set had the crowd singing, dancing, and head bobbing along from start to finish. The band returned to the stage for a two-song encore of hits ‘What I Got’ and ‘Santeria’. It was a great night of music and a real blast to the past for those of us who at these songs up as teenagers in the 1990’s.

[Photos by Rick Pettine]

[Article by David Miller & Rick Pettine]

**Thank you for voting Independent Philly as a four-time Top 5 Finalist and 2014 the Winner of “Best Local Blogger” in the Philly Region!**

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Radio 104.5 Block Party with Vance Joy, & Portugal. The Man

The Radio 104.5 Summer Block Party series closed out the Summer on a fantastic Sunday afternoon, August 20, at Festival Pier.  As always, Radio 104.5 highlighted local talent with opening act ‘The Groove Merchants’.  This Kutztown, Pennsylvania based band kicked things off with their soulful style, mixing the guitar work of Luke Ferracone and the big sound of their horn section (led by Dylan Hinnershitz).  The crowd was still small at this point in the show but those who were there seemed to really enjoy the style that The Groove Merchants brought to the stage.

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Following a short break, Mike Jones of Radio 104.5 came out to introduce ‘The Outdoor Type’ to the stage.  This Australian band has a quintessential 80s soft-rock vibe throughout songs like ‘Are You Happy’.  The beautiful blend of electric and acoustic guitars with some harmonica made The Outdoor Type the perfect band to enjoy on a beautiful sunny day.  They closed out their set with their current single, ‘On My Mind’, with which the crowd seemed to be most familiar.

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Things heated up from here both on and off the stage.  By the time ‘Judah and the Lion’ struck the first chords on the mandolin the crowd had more than doubled in size from the opening set.  The matted area in front of the stage was now impassable as young girls packed in to see Judah do his thing.  The band wasted no time getting the crowd going as they opened with their hit, ‘Suit & Jacket’.  Seeing these guys up close was a lot of fun.  They clearly were having a good time and wanted the crowd to be a part of it as well.  Besides the taste of great music, the band also gave the crowd a little bit of a male revue with members lining the front of the stage for a dance and some booty shaking.  It’s clear these guys have their stage show down pat.  Of course, they closed things down with their other big hit, ‘Take It All Back’.  Rather than leave the stage the same way they had entered, Judah and Brian did a crowd surfing race to the Miller Lite beer tent at the back of the venue.  The crowd loved it and the women were more than happy to pass these two boys around.

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The excitement grew from there as ‘Portugal. The Man.’ got set to take the stage.  Everyone was excited about this band and their huge hit of the summer, ‘Feel It Still’.  To the surprise of many in the crowd, the band took the stage to a fantastic cover of Metallica’s ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’.  There is no doubt these guys can really play the guitar; the music was spot on and the jam didn’t stop there.  They went into a Pink Floyd cover as well before sliding into their hit, ‘Purple Yellow Red and Blue’.  John Gourley and the boys then gave the crowd what they were dying for and played, ‘Feel it Still’.  While the band didn’t make political statements with their words, John and Eric both were sporting ‘Lords of Portland’ t-shirts which feature a large No Nazis symbol on the back.  It’s clear these guys had more than music on their minds but the statement was welcomed and not a distraction from their show.  The music was more guitar oriented than I think most of the crowd expected but before leaving the stage they surprised everyone with a second round of Feel it Still.  It was only fitting as that song is deservedly in heavy rotation this Summer.

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Finally, the ladies got what they had come for: Vance Joy. All eight feet of him took the stage to the screams of the young ladies.  In the photo pit, we heard several pledges of undying love for the big man.  Vance Joy didn’t disappoint, his vocals were fantastic throughout his hour long set.  Being a guitarist and singer kept him fairly still on the stage but the music was more than enough for the crowd.  Song after song, he delivered one hit after another.  Opening with ‘Mess is Mine’ and working through ‘Wasted Time’ and ‘Lay it on Me’, he had the crowd singing along with every word.  Clearly, this crowd had come out for Joy first and foremost.  Joy managed to flash his charming smile to the crowd giving the ladies an acknowledgement for all their catcalls throughout the set.  Vance Joy wrapped up his set (and the show) with, ‘Fire and the Flood’, and then the obvious closer, ‘Riptide’.

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All in all, it was a great lineup of some up and coming bands early in the day, and solid, polished performers on the back end.  Once again Radio 104.5 showed that they know their audience and put together a cohesive lineup of performers that gave the crowd a great wrap up to Summer.  We rank the day as a great success.   It was a beautiful afternoon weather-wise and the music was all that you could ask for, especially when you consider they did it all at no cost to the fans.

**Thank you for voting Independent Philly as a four time Top 5 Finalist and 2014 the Winner of “Best Local Blogger” in the Philly Region!**

[Photos by Michael Green]

[Article by Michael Green and David Miller]

Be sure to “like” Independent Philly on Facebookfollow us on Twitterfollow us on Instagramenter our contests, and love us in person!

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Interview with Slightly Stoopid

Slightly Stoopid is one of the those bands that feels like they’ve been around forever. In actuality, they have been a band longer than some of you reading this have been alive. Every time Slightly Stoopid rolls into town, it’s sure to be one hell of a good time. To get extra hyped up for their upcoming show on June 9 at Festival Pier, we spoke with their drummer, Ryan ‘RyMo’ Moran, about life on the road, fatherhood, their 13th studio album, his guilty music pleasures, cheesesteaks, and a whole lot more.

Independent Philly: Who came up with the name ‘Slightly Stoopid’?

RyMo: It goes way back to when the guys started the band in the early 90’s. Basically, it was a bunch of guys in a room, throwing names around, giggling, and then ‘Slightly Stoopid’ took shape and it stuck as the name for the band.

Independent Philly: Slightly Stoopid has been around now for well over 20 years. To what do you attribute your staying power in the industry?

RyMo: I would say that we stay on the road super-consistently is the main thing. We never really take a lot of time off and try to stay on the road four, five, six months out of the year. I would say that’s the main factor: that we just won’t go away. We put music out every couple of years as well, albums, and stuff like that. We are a touring band; we’ve been built on that since the beginning, and we just try to keep that motion happening.

Independent Philly: Being that you are almost in a constant state of touring, what do you find to be the most difficult aspect of life on the road? What do you enjoy the most about it?

RyMo: I’d say that nowadays is that all of us are family guys. I have two kids myself. Most of the guys have two. Some guys have three kids. The hardest part now is just trying to balance being a dad and changing diapers and then getting on a plane and getting on a tour bus and then being on stage and the whole chaos that surrounds that lifestyle. That’s the hardest part for most of us: just being away from our kids. We enjoy that show, that’s what we all live for, to travel and get to the next show and just have a ball. The hardest part is definitely being away from the family and missing being grounded.

Independent Philly: You have a show coming up here on June 9th at Festival Pier. What can fans expect from a live Slightly Stoopid performance?

RyMo: It’s high energy. It’s a lot of fun. We try to get the crowd pumped up and keep people excited and the energy level ramped way up. For the fans, they can expect to hear us play songs from our full catalog, it’s not just the latest record or anything like that, we try to play stuff from the early days, stuff we haven’t even put out yet — a little bit of everything. You get a variety of music and just a good time.

Independent Philly: Do you have a favorite memory from a past show here in Philadelphia?

RyMo: We’ve been fortunate enough to play Penn’s Landing every year, I think this is our sixth or seventh year. It’s always one of our favorite stops and I’m not just saying that. It’s one of the craziest crowds on the whole tour. There are a handful of crowds that are nuts and Philly is always right there at the top of the list. That’s really what I like the most is just when you get such an enthusiastic response from the fans, it makes you perform better. That’s one of the things I really enjoy about playing there.

Independent Philly: Slightly Stoopid’s last album was released two years ago, is there currently a thirteenth album in the works?

RyMo: There is, yeah. We’ve been working on it since last year and we’ll have it out next year for sure. We’ve been doing some other things and working on some other music, but at this point we’re not trying to force the release, we’ll have something out early next year and we’ll tour on that next year.

Independent Philly: Is there any new direction to the new album or is more in line with the classic Slightly Stoopid sound?

RyMo: I think each album has a different sort of vibe. This one will sound similar, because we are still the writers of course, but we try to keep the variety there. We’re not playing only reggae or only ska or only punk, we’re trying to play a little bit of everything to keep the fans interested, and ourselves interested. This coming album will have a lot of that variety as well. We’ve got some good guests and the songs are taking shape; I’m really happy with the songs. It will have some funk, it will have some reggae, it will have some punk rock, some ska, a little bit of everything, which I think people will enjoy.

Independent Philly: You mentioned that Philly crowds are always one of your favorites. On the opposite end of the spectrum, what’s one of the dumbest things you’ve ever seen a fan do at your show on a scale of Slightly Stoopid all the way up to Donald Trump?

RyMo: (laughs) Well I’ve seen a lot over the years, probably more than I can even remember off the top of my head. A lot of the time I just see some really bad stage dives going down. That’s always something I’m going to tell my kids not to do. We’ve seen people get hurt and to me that’s like the one thing — some bands just do it like crazy and it’s awesome because their fans are ready to catch them. Sometimes we see people charging and just doing a crazy stage dive and the seas part and they land on their head. That’s never good. Probably the craziest thing I’ve seen is people just belly flopping onto the floor, which sucks, pretty high on that scale.


Independent Philly: If I was to do a search through your current iPod, which artist(s) or song(s) would you be the most embarrassed for me to uncover?

Rymo: Oh shit. Oh man I’ve got some really bad 80’s stuff that’s probably pretty laughable. I don’t know, I can’t say I’d be embarrassed by anything. If it’s on there, I’ve probably listened to it a couple times. (laughs) Probably just some of the 80’s era stuff. I grew up with MTV when it was still music videos and not just reality TV as much, so some of that stuff is still near and dear to me.

Independent Philly: Philly is a big foodie city. If we were whipping up a ‘Slighty Stoopid Sandwich’, what ingredients would it include?

Rymo: It’s gotta be cheesesteakesque. Some of the guys here actually really like what we call the “surf and turf”, so I would suggest that we do Philly style, you know, cheesesteak, wiz-wit, let’s add some shrimp, let’s add some hot sauce, add some more onions, let’s make it spicy and add some jalapenos. That’d probably be the Slightly Stoopid. A lot of the guys like a burrito shop we go to here for some Mex and the guys like the shrimp and Carne asada, so we would do that equivalent on the East Coast for sure.

Independent Philly: That sounds pretty tasty actually.

Rymo: (laughs) Yeah, it’d be pretty good.

Independent Philly: Do you personally, or does Slightly Stoopid as a whole, work with any charities that are near and dear to your heart?

Rymo: We try to do something every year. We’ve done ‘Toys For Tots‘. We did an Autism benefit a couple years back. We had a really bad year of fire here in San Diego about eight years ago and we raised a bunch of money to help people rebuild their homes. We try to do something around the holidays every year when we’re home, and donate all of the proceeds to charity. Usually there are two or three of those per year. We’ve done ‘Surfrider Foundation‘ over the years which is a non-profit organization that promotes water cleanliness. We’ve touched a bunch of different charities over the years. We did something for Childhood Cancer Awareness, I’m spacing out on the charity name at the moment. There are been a bunch of things, pretty much one or two a year, where we are able to kick those proceeds to charity and give back a little bit to the community.

Independent Philly: Tell me something about yourself or Slightly Stoopid as a whole that might surprise or even shock our readers.

Rymo: We are all music nerds. A couple of the guys are ‘gamers’, that’s kind of embarrassing, but I think it’s funny. Definitely have some video game guys in the band. Most of us are dads now so we are kind of just dorky dads and take the kids to school every day and then get on the airplane. That’s probably about it.

Independent Philly: Are your kids old enough to grasp that fact that their dad is a well known, touring musician?

RyMo: I think they’ll probably figure it out. My kids are pretty young, they are four and two. My older daughter, my four year old has seen a couple of local shows so she kind of gets it but I still think she kind of doesn’t understand the magnitude. She just knows I’m gone, and I’m home when I’m home and then I’m gone when I’m gone. I think there is some understanding of, “Yeah, dad’s a musician”. She sees me practicing all the time at home, so she knows I like to play drums a lot. So yeah, I think she has an idea.

We are really looking forward to rocking out with Slightly Stoopid at Festival Pier this Friday evening, June 9! Tickets are still available for the show, which also features Iration, J Boog, and The Movement, and they can be purchased right here.

**Thank you for voting Independent Philly as a four time Top 5 Finalist and 2014 the Winner of “Best Local Blogger” in the Philly Region!**

[Interview by David Miller]

Be sure to “like” Independent Philly on Facebookfollow us on Twitter, follow us on Instagram, enter our contests, and love us in person!

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Life In Color w/ Jauz, Seven Lions, and Herobust at Festival Pier

One of the most fascinating aspects of music culture is the incredible diversity that thrives within fans all over the globe. However, no matter what genre of music one finds themselves into, one unfortunate division that fans can never escape is the existence and divide of elitism. There are many who find themselves to be in higher standing, higher quality, and higher humanity based on their music tastes and passions. For us in the industry, this attitude of gluttony is utterly disgusting. Whether you have been listening to a new style for a day or for decades, it’s the love for artistic expression that we believe promotes unity in it’s highest standard. One genre that finds itself in the crosshairs of openness and elitism, is the genre of electronic dance music. If you are in the EDM scene in any way, you’ve caught the terror of falling into an honest mistake and having the elitist hounds come straight at you for you lack of “knowledge”. However, the fan base is not all bad. There are events present in electronic music that focus on branding themselves to bring in the mainstream, maybe “inexperienced” crowd of fans in order to show them what the scene is all about. The event that has achieved this sense of welcoming the most in our scene, is Life In Color.

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Previously known as Day Glow, Life In Color has been making waves in the electronic music scene for years. Whether you see it as good or bad, it’s impossible to deny the massive impact the event tour has had on dance music. With Life In Color expanding to cities all over the United States, the rest of the globe, and now putting on their own festival in Miami every year, the festival has a serious record to fall back on. Some of the biggest and most talented artists from every genre in electronic music have grace LIC stages. Through the branding of the event as the most epic paint party you could ever experience, the event has attracted the younger crowd within the scene and sometimes even a lot of high school and college kids who know little to nothing about electronic music. This makes for an incredibly intense and dramatic experience, not only for the fans who are being exposed to a lot of sounds they may have never heard before, but also for the artists who have the chance to show off their best to a crowd of relatively new listeners.

life in color-0422 copy life in color-0434 copylife in color-1151 copyThis year, Philadelphia snagged one of the best Life In Color lineups that we have seen in recent years. Diverse talent from three of dance music’s biggest acts brought to light the incredible talent and overall flow that can thrive through genre defying and well thought out talent buying. Opening the night were two acts who are very friendly with the local Philadelphia crowds. Pasdat and We’re Not Friends brought with them some of the newer sounds of electronic music highlighting the major crossover movement of dubstep and trap sounds into one breathing hybrid. Not only that, but they also highlighted the new style of hip-hop infused drunken trap which has exploded onto the scene in recent months. Their performances were the perfect warmup for LIC’s headliners.

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Up first from the headliners was bass house maniac Jauz who has garnered an incredibly dedicated fan base. Many members of shark squad came out for the madness that is a Jauz performance, and those who were new to the ocean creature’s blend of dubstep, trap, house, and so much more were pleasantly surprised. Although it was still light out and the rain was falling relatively hard, the soaked crowd was jumping from start to finish. While we watch many musical acts perform for our work here at Independent Philly, there are few who can truly control and unite a crowd like Jauz can.

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The next major headliner to perform was Atlanta’s Herobust who’s combination of hip-hop, dubstep, and trap sounds dubbed “metallic trap” by many took the stage to unsure looks on the crowd’s face. Out of the three major headliners, it seemed that Herobust was the least known by the crowd. However, as Herobust has come to be known as one of the most experimental and powerful producers in electronic music, he did not disappoint. Mixing together a combination of top 40 hits, hard hitting trap, jaw dropping dubstep, and chill-inducing house, the producer won of the crowd and arguable played the best set of the night with what seemed to be ease. The sheer composure and comfort Herobust performed with scary in the best way possible. A perfect balance of crowd pleasing tracks and heavy hitting riot inciting bangers rocked Life In Color to it’s core.

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Finally, Seven Lions stepped up to the decks to provide the final and arguably most emotional of all the performances. For years, Seven Lions has been praised for many different facets of his musical presence. From producing some of the most complex melodic dubstep, to mixing a range of unconventional and mainstream music into his sets, if you have had the chance to see a Seven Lions set, you understand why he is so highly praised. We were blessed to hear sounds we truly never thought would bless a Life in Color stage such as pay-trance, drum n bass, and much much more. The sing alongs were loud, the crowd was wild, and the night ended on a perfect note. We truly had a blast at Life in Color this year, and we can’t wait to come back and be covered in paint once again when next year returns. We are counting down the days already.

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As we left the main event, we headed over to District N9ne to keep the night going. Upon arrival, it was clear that the after party was already in full swing with opener Phaseone destroying the crowd. There was no sense of light foreplay for this show, it was real heavy from the start. After Phaseone finished his set to the tune of roars from the crowd, Herobust took the stage for the 2nd time tonight as the after party headliner. While his set at Life in Color was filled with a lot of trap and house, this after party set was nothing but pure dubstep. The crowd at District N9ne couldn’t get enough of Herobust and left the venue and themselves in absolute shambles. Leaving the after party, all we could think about was our beds at home. It was one hell of a night, and thanks to Life in Color, it was all made possible.

**Thank you for voting Independent Philly as a four time Top 5 Finalist and 2014 the Winner of “Best Local Blogger” in the Philly Region!**

[Photos by C2H2 Photo]

[Article by Adam Leopold]

Be sure to “like” Independent Philly on Facebookfollow us on Twitter, follow us on Instagram, enter our contests, and love us in person!

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Radio 104.5 Block Party with Chvrches, Miike Snow, and More!

This past Saturday, September 17, at Festival Pier, Radio 104.5 took all of us on a musical adventure around the world. Bands from several different countries came to participate in the last Radio 104.5 Block Party of the 2016 season, and none of them disappointed.

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To start the day off, local band ‘Andorra’ took the stage full of energy. Andorra won the opportunity to open this show through a contest held by Radio 104.5, and this is not the first time this band has done so. Both last year, and again this past June, Andorra was voted to play at the Radio 104.5 birthday show, and has opened for bands such as ‘Florence + the Machine’, ‘The Lumineers’, and ‘Silversun Pickups’. Along with winning these contests, Andorra has also performed on “Live at 5” on Radio 104.5 and at the ‘New Music Discovery’ live show at Xfinity Live.

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Andorra started the show off with their song ‘Ain’t It a Shame’ from their first album, and followed that up with their new song, ‘Four Corners’, which has not only been featured on Radio 104.5, but has also won ‘Majority Rules’ multiple times. It was easy to tell that this band knew what they were doing, as they were relaxed on stage yet kept the audience engaged and excited as they played throughout their set. They ended with a currently unreleased song of theirs, titled ‘Habits’, then threw some Andorra t-shirts into the audience and cleared the stage for the next band.

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We then “traveled” from Pennsylvania to Australia as the ‘Griswolds’ took the stage. They  immediately instructed the crowd to jump along to their opening song, ‘Down and Out’. The audience did not hold back in showing excitement in the form of high pitched screams each time the lead singer announced what song they were going to play next. Their guitar player got closer to the crowd several times by jumping down off of the stage onto the speakers directly in front of it, which also received a response of screams from fans. The Griswolds then played their new song, ‘Out of My Head’, as lead singer Christopher Whitehall moved about the stage while waving around the mic stand, and the crowd all clapped along to the beat. During the last song of their set, Whitehall hopped off of the stage and stood against the railing near audience, giving everyone there a memorable moment before the end of their set.

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The next destination we were taken to was to Hawaii, via the band ‘Iration’. This performance was much more relaxed compared to the previous two sets, but it did not lack energy. Iration plays a mix of rock and reggae, and they fall under a genre called “sunshine reggae”, which was very fitting for a beautiful, sunny day. As we wandered through the crowd, we saw people dancing, drinking, playing games, and relaxing in the sand, all of which were perfect activities for the laid-back music coming from onstage.

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In a somewhat stark contrast, the music transitioned from Hawaiian sunshine reggae to Swedish indie pop as ‘Miike Snow’ took the stage. Miike Snow is comprised of three members, two of which are from Sweden, while the lead singer Andrew Wyatt hails from the United States. The band started with their well-known song, ‘My Trigger’, and followed that with their extremely popular song ‘Genghis Khan’, with everyone present singing along enthusiastically to both tunes. Wyatt was a very eclectic performer, traveling the stage as he pleased, and even singing portions of songs while sitting on the ground or simply laying on the floor. It made for a highly entertaining show, with his unique and beautiful falsetto never wavering. Miike Snow ended their show with ‘Animal’, a song that currently has over 57 million plays on Spotify, and all of their fans there sang every single word as loudly as they could.

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The last stop on the musical journey of the Radio 104.5 Block Party was across the pond in Scotland as the band ‘CHVRCHES’ from Glasgow finally took the stage. They took their places as the sea of people in the sold-out crowd below them yelled and cheered for the band they had waited all day for. As they performed, lead singer Lauren Mayberry hopped and spun around the stage and stood on the speakers at the front of the stage to tower over the crowd, even though she is very petite in stature. Mayberry revealed to the audience that the last time that CHVRCHES had played a Radio 104.5 Block Party, the crowd had been much rowdier, and that this performance was going much smoother. However, CHVRCHES then played their new song ‘Bury It’ and the crowd quickly departed from their state of calm and collected. This energy remained high throughout their set and they saved the best for last, ending with their most popular song, ‘The Mother We Share’.

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From Philadelphia, to Australia, to Hawaii, to Sweden, and finally to Scotland, everyone present at the Radio 104.5 Block Party got a taste of music from many different genres and cultures. There was never a dull moment as the performers engaged with the audience and danced around the stage, taking full advantage of the set times they were given. It was the perfect show to conclude another successful season of Radio 104.5 Block Parties and we look forward to the shows the plan for Summer of 2017.

[Photos by: Josh Campbell Photography]

[Article by Emily Holmquist]

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